Easy Hors d’oeuvres

Posted by on Oct 5, 2011 in Recipe | 5 comments

We all have days when we find ourselves either: too lazy to cook from scratch hosting a  party and don’t seem to have enough time on hand staring at stuff that’s been sitting in the freezer for months too lazy to cook from scratch Yep, well, I bet you can’t guess which one I was feeling out of those four choices! So, after getting tired of seeing the pack of frozen mini sausages every time I opened my freezer, I decided it was about time to get rid of them. No! Not tossing them in the trash! How could you possibly insinuate such a thing? Of course I meant taking advantage of the fact that my cousins were over and force feeding those suckers amid unheard protests. Ahem. As some of you pointed out already, I seem to have a penchant for puff pastry. Guess what? We’ll be using it again for this recipe, woohoo! Why? Because it’s easy and convenient and I’ve had a tube of it sitting in the freezer for months just begging me to bake it.   Mini Sausage Rolls This is an appetizer that the kids will be fighting over! Ingredients: 1 pack of mini sausages 1 tube of frozen pastry 1 whole egg Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out your pastry evenly on a floured surface. Cut the pastry into even strips and then stack them on top of each other. Criss-cross your cuts to make triangles. Now that you have a bunch of triangular dough, take out your favorite brand of mini sausages. From the bottom of the triangle (the widest part), start rolling the dough around the sausage. It should end with the point on the outside. This will create the nice crescent look once they’re baked. Once you’re done with your sausage rolls and have them all lined up on a baking sheet, crack open and egg and mix it up before brushing some of the egg mixture onto the tops of the pastry. (This is a step that I forgot to do, thus the reason why my rolls don’t have that nice golden glazed look.) You can add a dash of pepper or other seasoning on top of the egg mixture. I’d advise against salt since the sausages themselves are pretty damn salty as it is. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and lightly browned. Voilà! And you’re done. How easy was that? Maybe too easy to even officially call a ‘recipe’ in the S.S.Muchies book. Serve with some ketchup or mustard on the side and I can guarantee that if you’ve got picky kids to feed, they’ll be wanting more of these. ~ AJ ~ Photographs taken and provided by AnnMarie...

Read More

Apple Tarts

Posted by on Apr 5, 2011 in Recipe | 5 comments

Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of apples. If you were to offer me a choice between an apple and a durian, I’d probably go with the weird spiky thing that smells like crap. (Not that durian isn’t delicious, you just have to get past the smell first.) For those of you who have had durian…you know I’m not lying about the stink. =] Having had a few apples sitting around the house for a while now, I decided to battle it out with them and experiment while I’m at it. After scrounging through our cupboards for various ingredients, a short staring contest where the apples won, and then sweet revenge with the knife, I handed the job over to the oven and it managed to spit out apple tarts that were surprisingly tasty. For an experiment that is. The family approves, but I’ll leave the final decision to the readers. Enjoy! Apple Tarts For those of you who like blueberries, this recipe works great for a blueberry tart as well! Ingredients: 4 apples 3/4 cup dark brown sugar 1/2 cup all purpose flour 1/2 cup instant oatmeal 1/3 cup (~ 5 tbsp) butter 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 1 pastry sheet/puff pastry sheet Note: Makes 6 tarts Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel and core the apples, then cut them into small wedges before cutting each wedge into thirds. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Melt the butter and pour it over the apples before mixing with the dry ingredients. Stir well so that all the apples are evenly coated. Set aside for the moment. Roll out your pastry sheet evenly on a floured surface. Depending on how large you’d like to make your tarts, cut out circles to the appropriate size. I used ramekins that were about four inches in diameter and so I cut my pastry in circles of roughly six inches in diameter. Make sure to butter the surface otherwise the crust of the tart will stick and probably break in the process of removing it from the mold. (This can easily be done without ramekins with a regular 9 x 11 baking pan, or even the use of ceramic coffee cups.) Press the dough lightly into your mold and make sure its edges stay to the sides. For a circular mold, you may have to pinch the dough together and make a few folds or odd wrinkles. Add the apple filling into the tart with your desired amount and pop it in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until the dough turns golden brown. Run a knife along the edge of the tart to loosen it from the mold. Instead of flipping it over onto a plate and then flipping it again so it’s right side up, just wiggle your knife around and it should easily slide out. This prevents any of the filling being wasted with the plate juggling trick. This is best when eaten warm, so I’d suggest you don’t let it cool too long. Or, you may want a little bit of both and add a scoop of your favorite ice cream on the side to give your warm and gooey tart a cooler companion. Very quick and simple recipe, enjoy~! ~ AJ ~ Photographs taken and provided by AnnMarie...

Read More

Curry Pockets

Posted by on Oct 21, 2010 in Recipe | 1 comment

Mm, curry. I love curry~! Meat and veggies all mixed together into a thick saucy broth over rice? Yes, please. Curry can be made in all sorts of ways and eaten in several different ways as well. Over rice, as a noodle soup, with bread…the possibilities are endless, just like how you can add whatever you want to the curry itself. As delicious as curry is, it tends to be a sit-down meal instead of something you can take on the go. Besides curry bread, I have also seen another pastry offered in the Chinese bakeries that are like curry pockets. Then there’s also the problem of what to do when you have a ton of leftover curry. So after putting two and two together, the following recipe is my attempt at mimicking the flaky curry pockets I find at the bakery as well as my own reprieve from curry over rice, noodles, and bread on the side. Curry Pockets I’m sure everyone has their own favorite curry recipe, so if you find that you have leftovers then this is a great way to fancy it up. Ingredients: frozen puff pastry curry 1 whole egg Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out the thawed puff pastry to an even rectangle. Depending on how big you’d like each pocket to be, slice the pastry into smaller rectangles. I found that when I tried to put two pieces of the dough together to make one pocket, it was messy and hard to pinch together without all the curry spilling out. So, instead, I split the dough in half lengthwise and then ended up with eight rectangles that were a bit longer than they were wide. With the dough in hand, place it lengthwise so that you can easily fold the dough over by just curling your fingers inward. The half of the dough that’s in the palm of your hand should be pushed down a bit so it forms a small groove for the curry – this prevents it from spilling everywhere. Add a spoonful of your curry (cold curry, not hot!) to the middle, pretend you’re making ravioli or something! I found it easiest by just picking out the ingredients first and then adding a bit of the sauce on top. It leaves you with a chunkier pocket but at least you won’t have to deal with the sauce dribbling all over the place. Bring the other half of the dough over so it covers the bottom holding the curry. Pinch the three sides closed. To make sure that the pocket doesn’t end up opening, fold the edges of the three sides and then use a fork to crimp it  shut. Similar to that of when you cover and finish up a pie. Now you should have a cute little pocket! Okay, it might look a little weird, but it’ll look way better once it’s baked. I promise. =) Once you’ve finished preparing your batch of curry pockets, whisk an egg and brush the tops of the pockets for a nice golden finish. Pop them in the oven for around 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are a light golden brown and the pocket has puffed up nicely. Make sure to let them cool before eating. Enjoy~! ~ AJ ~ P.S. For those of you wondering where the bread sticks in the picture came from, it was the excess pastry I had on hand when I trimmed the rectangles so that they were all the same size. Just roll them together into a string and pinching both ends,...

Read More

Savory Tuscan Palmiers

Posted by on Sep 20, 2010 in Recipe | 1 comment

Palmiers are great little treats for special occasions or when showing off to the guests. Not only are they easy to make, they’re simple, elegant, and tasty! Today’s recipe will be on Savory Tuscan Palmiers (thanks Carissa for helping me think of a name!) and…I actually consider this a sort of ‘cheat’ recipe since it’s so easy and you really don’t even need to do any cooking at all. With four simple ingredients that can all be purchased at the grocery store, these Savory Tuscan Palmiers may very well become a new favorite. If not because it’s delicious, then because it’s just that easy! Since my family and I aren’t the biggest fans of sweets, I decided to give the traditional palmier a twist by making a savory edition instead. With the following recipe, you’ll have a flaky snack that’s slightly tart and deliciously cheesy. Savory Tuscan Palmiers Ingredients: frozen puff pastry goat cheese sundried tomato (I used sundried tomatoes in oil) pesto (buy a good brand, it’s worth the extra few dollars) Let the frozen puff pastry defrost in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously flour a surface to roll out the puff pastry. With a rolling pin, (I couldn’t find mine so I used a beer can…don’t judge me…) roll the dough out as evenly as you can into a thin rectangle. Use your hands to gently stretch the dough into shape, or to pinch holes together. If you find the dough sticking to your rolling pin (or my beer can in this case) just flour the surface of the dough as well as whatever you’re using to roll it out. Once you’re satisfied with the shape and width of the dough (don’t roll it out too thin!) spread a thin layer of pesto over the entire sheet. I suggested buying a good brand of pesto because a cheap one will easily show through. A good pesto will be finely ground (there shouldn’t be any veins from the basil left) and not too salty. Take some time to find your favorite brand, pesto goes great on sandwiches and pasta! Crumble the goat cheese and spread it evenly across the sheet. Follow with sundried tomatoes. If you’re using sundried tomatoes in oil, be sure to drain the oil first, but keep the oil for future uses! Such as vinaigrette. Also, if you find that the tomatoes are whole pieces, try cutting them up into smaller slices so that you don’t end up having chunks of whole tomatoes in each palmier. Up to here, things have been pretty simple, almost like prepping pizza dough for the oven actually. Here’s where things may get a little confusing through text, so here’s a nice little picture I found off Google that will make it so much simpler. So, after you fold the dough as shown above, cut them into slices about 3/4 inch thick. If you find that your dough isn’t cold (meaning it’s pretty soft and squishy by now) then stick it in the freezer for a few minutes for easy cutting. Also, when cutting, don’t just press down with the knife to slice it but saw at it in a back and forth motion. This prevents all the filling from oozing out. Place the palmiers on a sheet of parchment paper before slipping it into the oven for about 30 minutes. Or until the dough has risen and is a slight golden brown. Cool, and enjoy. Hope you guys enjoyed this super simple recipe! Be sure to check out...

Read More